Who is Casey DeSantis, the powerful first lady of Florida? (2023)

Who is Casey DeSantis, the powerful first lady of Florida? (1)

Behind the scenes, some in-laws have more influence than others. And then there's Casey DeSantis. Casey, the wife of current Florida Gov. (and likely Republican presidential candidate) Ron DeSantis, is so powerful that she seems to have changed the way her husband says his own name.

Last week, former President Donald Trump, the Republican Party's 2024 front runner,reposted a video on Truth Socialshows Ron DeSantis, 44, making seven appearances. The older clips clearly say "Dee-Santis"; in the latest it says "Deh-Santis".

"Who changes the pronunciation of their last name at 40?"scoffed at the tweetaccompanying the video. "Is there anything genuine about this guy?"

As it turns out, Ron DeSantis spent most of his life under the name "Dee-Santis"; "D" was even his nickname in high school. But during the then-Congressman's first run for governor in 2018, veteran Florida political reporter Adam Smith noted that the candidate's wife kept saying "Deh-Santis."

Who is Casey DeSantis, the powerful first lady of Florida? (2)

So blacksmithcalled the campaign:

"It was also a little bit controversial for us in the campaign," admitted [DeSantis communications director Stephen] Lawson. "He's wearing Dee-Santis."

But Casey Dee-Santis seems to be using Deh-Santis, right?



"Yes," Lawson admitted. And he added, "He prefers Dee-Santis."

When Smith asked if the name debate had "become a major source of much friction between Mr. Dee-Santis and Ms. Deh-Santis," Lawson said no.

"I wouldn't go that far," he said dryly.

In the last five years, however, Ron DeSantisincreasingly tended to call himself Ron Deh-Santisin the public -including both times he was sworn inas governor, with Casey at his side.

Who is Casey DeSantis, the powerful first lady of Florida? (3)

No one following the DeSantis would be surprised. By all accounts, Casey, 42, is her husband's most influential adviser. According to at least one report, that of a former congressman, she is "the only person listening.“

PoliticsRecently named Casey"Without a doubt, the most important person influencing DeSantis policies and political operations," the New York Post saiddescribed heras "the not-so-secret weapon that calls the shots in visual strategy as Ron DeSantis' political fortunes continue to rise." And Vanity Fair compared Casey to "the most famous Republican political woman in recent memory, Nancy Reagan," noting that "DeSantis consults with her on everything from hiring decisions and media appearances to political positions and dress choices."

Who is Casey DeSantis, the powerful first lady of Florida? (4)

"It's clear that she's the X factor," said Scott Parkinson, one of DeSantis' former congressional chiefs of staff.told Business Insider earlier this year. “They complete the political element that is Ron DeSantis. I wouldn't be the same person without Casey."

"It's very Hillary Clinton in 1992," added Peter Schorsch, a former Republican and editor at Florida Politics. "Here you get the two-for-one deal."

Ron DeSantis carved his way into the race for the GOP crown by waging a culture war from Tallahassee: banning diversity, equity and inclusion programs; send involuntary immigrants to Martha's Vineyard; yelling at a student for wearing a mask; fighting Disney for its support of LGBT rights; engage in strategic disputes with the press.

(Video) Casey DeSantis, Florida's first lady, talks cancer battle

But so far he has not succeeded in unseating Trump. As a matter of fact,the latest Yahoo News/YouGov pollshows that the Florida governor is actually losing ground to the former president among Republican primary voters.

Who is Casey DeSantis, the powerful first lady of Florida? (5)

That's where Casey DeSantis comes in. as extensiveNew Yorker ProfileAs of last June, Ron has been a remote character who seems more comfortable reading academic papers than performing the rituals of retail politics: working on ropes, making eye contact, connecting with other people. "People who work closely with him describe a man so distant he sometimes finds it difficult to maintain a conversation," the magazine reported.

"You'll be in the car with Ron DeSantis and he won't say anything to you for an hour," a Republican donor once said.said politician. "He would prefer it that way."

Casey DeSantis, on the other hand, is a natural: not just as a spouse witha glamorous imageand a compelling story: She recently beat breast cancer while raising three young children, but as a veteran television personality who also actively shapes her husband's image and story.

To win the White House, Ron DeSantis must figure out how to engage with Americans on a grand scale. Casey is already beginning to orchestrate this show.

Who is Casey DeSantis, the powerful first lady of Florida? (6)

Jill Casey Black, born June 26, 1980 in Troy, Ohio, was a dedicated equestrian at the College of Charleston before emerging as a polished local news anchor in Jacksonville from 2003-2019, covering crime, golf, "entrepreneurs" and interesting stories .

Who is Casey DeSantis, the powerful first lady of Florida? (7)

(Video) Ron DeSantis’ wife releases ‘powerful’ campaign ad

But according to former colleagues, she always had greater ambitions. "I remember once saying [to a colleague], 'Casey wants to be a senator's wife.' And he said, 'No, she wants to be a president's wife,'" said a former member of the WJXT teams told Vanity Fair in 2022.

Even then a conservative — Vanity Fair reported that she once a week tore a Jacksonville alternate in two because she "didn't like the headline about Republicans" — Casey finally met her opponent on the driving range at Florida's Northern University in 2006.

"I kept looking over my shoulder because I wanted that bucket full of balls that someone had left behind," he said.2018 remembered. “My swing was so terrible. I needed as much practice as possible. When I look back, Ron is there. He thinks I'm looking at him. [But] I was actually looking at the ball.”

"I used the balls to talk to her",Ron DeSantis admittedin an interview with Piers Morgan earlier this month. “So we started talking, we shared the balls and we hit them. And then we dated after that, and the rest is history."

Who is Casey DeSantis, the powerful first lady of Florida? (8)

Two years later, Ron DeSantis decided to propose to her after a stint in Iraq as a Navy attorney. "It was nice to have this one in the win column," he told Morgan. In 2009, the DeSantis were married at Disney World in a pavilion overlooking Cinderella Castle and the Seven Seas Lagoon. Ron originally planned to wear a tuxedo, but Casey convinced him to wear his white navy uniform instead.

"I happily gave in to my girlfriend on that call," the governor writes in his new pre-election book.The courage to be free"– although she almost missed the rehearsal dinner because she was in a hurry to set up the outfit in time.

"Casey was happy with the wedding photos," she writes in her book, "so it was worth it."

Since then, Casey DeSantis' job has been to ensure a perfect public image. To the casual observer, this can read like a typical, even old-fashioned, wife-in-law. During the governor's state address earlier this month, for example, she didsmiled and waved from the balcony of the Florida Capitolwhile her husband promoted his ministry.

"For the past four years, he has spearheaded efforts to help our youth avoid drugs, foster emotional resilience in schools and provide a path to prosperity for the less fortunate," he said. "She also gave birth to our daughter, Mamie, and recently battled breast cancer [which inspired her] to rethink Florida's fight against cancer by breaking down long-standing silos between researchers, cancer facilities and medical providers.

Who is Casey DeSantis, the powerful first lady of Florida? (9)

(Video) Casey DeSantis, Florida's first lady, diagnosed with breast cancer

The fact that the state's first lady was smiling and waving as she crammed the couple's troubled middle child, 4-year-old Mason, who wore a strapless pink satin dress, elbow-length gloves, pointed white heels and pearls. The earrings did not go unnoticed. "Casey's attemptChannel jackie kennedyIt was totally unspectacular."meantJezebel. “If the couple has bigger political dreams, Casey is definitely in it. These are the dress choices of someone auditioning to be First Lady."

But experts say Casey's sphere of influence extends far beyond the stereotypical duties of a first lady. During Ron's first run for Congress, "she used her local fame to introduce [him] to power brokers in North Florida."laut Vanity Fair. ("She went with him to all the powers that be," a source told the magazine.) A former congressional aide even called Casey her husband's best campaign adviser. "He hasn't heard from anyone else in the campaign," the staffer said.said Business Insider. "Ron and Casey did the strategy, they did everything."

After Ron won the election, Casey basically joined his team. "I was up to date with every email and calendar invite," a former employee told Vanity Fair. "If Casey said jump, we'd get out the trampoline." Sheinterviewed candidates. She outfitted her husband, a Yale- and Harvard-educated attorney with Italian-American roots in Pennsylvania and Ohioschwarze Cowboystiefel.

Who is Casey DeSantis, the powerful first lady of Florida? (10)

And most importantly, she used her television skills and access to WJXT's teleprompters to coach him for frequent appearances on Fox News and raise his national profile. "We had to buy her own headset and microphone, which she wanted," a former convention staffer told Vanity Fair. On the other hand, Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz said, "credited her with her contouring [makeup] skillsto Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who learned from his wife Casey.”

"If I weren't in office, I would be working to make money in the business, but [Casey] would be on Fox News," the governor said.said in a 2022 podcast interview. "I guarantee you".

Who is Casey DeSantis, the powerful first lady of Florida? (11)

Of course, it remains to be seen how important Ron DeSantis' "not-so-secret weapon" can really be in the context of a high-level presidential race. The governor has seen his shares soar after thatwin a second termby nearly 20 points last November in a disappointing night for Republicans and Casey DeSantis, who worked tirelessly to humanize her husbandcampaign To suejin social networks- played a role in this coup.

"His wife...is really running his campaign."Trump told reportersin West Palm Beach on Election Day as if it were an insult.

(Video) Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis helps kick off 2022 Florida Python Challenge

But the real challenge lies ahead. Democratic strategist David Axelrod, who led Barack Obama to two terms in the Oval Office, once described a presidential bid as "an MRI of the soul: whoever he is, people eventually find out." To make her Kennedy dream come true, Casey DeSantis must convince America that her husband can connect instead of just divide, that he can build instead of just outrage. She cut out her work for them.


Who is the first lady governor of Florida? ›

She met Ron DeSantis on a golf course, according to several published accounts, and the couple were married in the fall of 2009. She has served as the First Lady of Florida since Ron DeSantis became Governor in 2019.

How old is Casey Black? ›

Why is DeSantis famous? ›

During his military career, DeSantis has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Iraq Campaign Medal. DeSantis was still serving in the U.S. Navy Reserve as of his transition to the governorship.

Where is Casey DeSantis born? ›

Is the governor's wife a first lady? ›

In the United States, the first spouse is the term used to refer to the spouse of a chief executive—that is, of the spouse of the president of the United States (the first lady of the United States and the first gentleman of the United States) and the spouses of the governors of the 50 U.S. states and U.S. territories ...

Who is the first Governor of Florida? ›

Governors of the State of Florida
1William Dunn Moseley (1795–1863)1845
2Thomas Brown (1785–1867)1848
3James E. Broome (1808–1883)1852
4Madison S. Perry (1814–1865)1856
32 more rows

What is DeSantis approval rating? ›

Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of Ron DeSantis?
CharacteristicShare of respondents
Very favorable18%
Somewhat favorable23%
Somewhat unfavorable12%
Very unfavorable28%
1 more row
6 days ago

How old is Casey in the show? ›

Backstory. Casey is a few years older than Michael and has already graduated from high school. He has also served out a full term of enlistment in the Army, which puts him at about 21 years old in 1978, which is when he first appears on the show. He appears after Donna and Eric break up.

Does governor DeSantis have a sister? ›

What positive things has DeSantis done? ›

This year's accomplishments include record funding for students, teacher pay, school safety, and mental health, achieving the highest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) rankings in Florida's history, becoming the #1 ranked state in education freedom, continuing to secure the title of #1 higher education ...

Where does the name DeSantis come from? ›

$14.50 $7.25. The surname Desantis is patronymic in origin, meaning it was based on the first name of a forefather. In this case, Desantis is derived from the Latin word "sanctus," meaning "holy" or "devout," thus the original bearer of the name was known to be a holy and devout person.

What nationality is DeSantis? ›

Where did Casey Black meet Ron DeSantis? ›

2006: Ron DeSantis and Casey Black met on a golf course at the University of North Florida.

How old is DeSantis of Florida? ›

Was DeSantis married before? ›

What is the male version of first lady? ›

The male equivalent of the title in countries where the head of state's spouse has been a man, such as the Philippines or Malta, is first gentleman. While there has never been a male spouse of a U.S. president, "first gentleman" is used in the United States for the male spouse of a mayor or governor.

What first lady means? ›

plural First Ladies or first ladies. Synonyms of First Lady. : the wife or female partner of the chief executive of a country or jurisdiction.

Does the first lady have any authority? ›

The position of the first lady is not an elected one and carries only ceremonial duties. Nonetheless, first ladies have held a highly visible position in American society. The role of the first lady has evolved over the centuries. She is, first and foremost, the hostess of the White House.

What is the motto of Florida? ›

"In God We Trust" was adopted by the Florida legislature as part of the state seal in 1868. This is also the motto of the United States and is a slight variation on Florida's first state motto, "In God is our Trust." In 2006, "In God We Trust" was officially designated in state statute as Florida's motto.

How many times can you run for governor in Florida? ›

Florida governors are restricted to two consecutive terms in office, after which they must wait one term before being eligible to run again.

How many cities are in Florida? ›

There are 267 cities, 123 towns, and 21 villages in the U.S. state of Florida, a total of 411 municipalities. They are distributed across 67 counties, in addition to 66 county governments.

What does approval ratings mean in government? ›

An approval rating is a percentage determined by polling which indicates the percentage of respondents to an opinion poll who approve of a particular person or program.

How long is the term limit for the governor of Florida? ›

How long does the Governor serve and can he or she serve more than one term? The governor holds the office for four years and can choose to run for reelection. The Governor is not eligible to serve more than eight years in any twelve-year period. Was this article helpful?

What are the levels of government in Florida? ›

The Florida Legislature is one of three branches of government in Florida. The other two branches are the Executive and Judicial. The Senate is composed of 40 members, each elected from single-member districts across the state.

Why did Casey retire? ›

Casey moved to a new life and new captain's job in Portland, Oregon but returned for the Season 10 finale wedding of Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) and Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo). "Matt was the best man, so it was appropriate to return," says Spencer.

What does Casey do for work? ›

Casey is from Tring and is a recruitment consultant. He thinks he will be "cheekiest boy in the villa", he said: "I'll be the cheekiest boy in Villa I can definitely see myself kissing a lot of the girls in there!

Who was Casey engaged to? ›

In season 1, he is engaged to Dr. Hallie Thomas but they end it when she tells him she doesn't want to have kids. Later on, they resume the relationship. However, at the end of season 1, Hallie dies in a fire at the clinic where she works.

What happened to Christina De Santis? ›

Christina DeSantis was just 30 when she died in London in 2015 after battling a sudden illness. Her British fiancé Stephan Pasiewicz was clutching her hand in hospital as she slipped away.

How old is Ron DeSantis? ›

Is DeSantis a Navy SEAL? ›

DeSantis seems to have first posted the photo of himself with the bone frog backdrop to Facebook in 2012 during his successful run for Florida's 6th District in the US House of Representatives. DeSantis did deploy with SEALs in 2007. Presumably, the photo was taken then. But DeSantis himself was not a SEAL.

What are governor DeSantis duties and responsibilities? ›

The Governor is the supreme executive power in the state. Article IV, Section 1(a) of the Florida Constitution provides that “he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, commission all officers of the state and counties, and transact all necessary business with the officers of government.”

Is DeSantis wife ok? ›

Image of Is DeSantis wife ok?
Jill Casey DeSantis is an American former news journalist, television show host and the current first lady of Florida as the wife of Governor Ron DeSantis.

Is DeSantis French or Italian? ›

DeSantis or De Santis is an Italian surname. Use of the surname most frequently refers to Ron DeSantis, the 46th and current governor of Florida and a former member of the US House of Representatives. Others with the surname DeSantis or De Santis include: Antonio De Santis, Italian poet.

Why is Florida a Spanish name? ›

Even our state's name came from an early Spanish explorer's first vision. Juan Ponce de Leon arrived near Florida's shore in April 1513, near Easter, and called the lush new land La Pascua de la Florida, translated often as "flowery passover," or "passion of the flowers."

Is Florida a native name? ›

Famed Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon may not have found the fountain of youth, but he is credited with naming Florida, as the first European to reach it. The region was named by de Leon in 1513 and it comes from the Spanish word "florido," which means "full of flowers."

How is DeSantis an Italian name? ›

Italian: patronymic from the personal name Santo . It is formed with the Latin ablative plural suffix -is imparting the broader sense 'belonging to, of', in this case 'member of the Santi family' (compare Santi 2).

Is DeSantis a last name? ›

How popular is the last name DeSantis? ›

According to the data, Desantis is ranked #3,530 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

Is Casey DeSantis a Republican? ›

Image of Is Casey DeSantis a Republican?
The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States. The GOP was founded in 1854 by anti-slavery activists who opposed the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which allowed for the potential expansion of chattel slavery into the western territories.

How many times has Ron DeSantis been married? ›

Ron DeSantis has been married once, in 2010.

Where did DeSantis go to college? ›

Has Florida ever had a female governor? ›

As of January 10, 2023, 18 states have never had a female governor: California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Who were all the governors of Florida? ›

What nationality is the name DeSantis? ›

DeSantis or De Santis is an Italian surname. Use of the surname most frequently refers to Ron DeSantis, the 46th and current governor of Florida and a former member of the US House of Representatives. Others with the surname DeSantis or De Santis include: Antonio De Santis, Italian poet.

What state has the first woman governor? ›

Governorship of Wyoming

The Democratic Party then nominated his widow, Nellie, to run for governor in a special election the following month. Nellie Ross refused to campaign but easily won the race on November 4, 1924. On January 5, 1925, she became the first female governor in the history of the United States.

Who is the oldest governor in the United States history? ›

State governors

In terms of age, Alabama governor Kay Ivey (born 1944) is the oldest governor, and Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders (born 1982) is the youngest.

Who was the youngest female governor ever? ›

At the time she became acting governor, Swift was 36 years old, making her the youngest female governor or acting governor in U.S. history. North Adams, Massachusetts, U.S.

Who protects the governor of Florida? ›

The Governor's Guards is a historic unit of the Florida Army National Guard, stationed in Tallahassee, Florida. Its current designation is Troop C, 1st Squadron, 153rd Cavalry.

How many of the governors are Republican? ›

As of February 2023, there were 26 Republicans and 24 Democrats holding the office of governor in the states. There are 4 Democrats and 1 Republican (one is also a member of the New Progressive Party) as governor of United States Territories and Mayor of the District of Columbia.

Is Florida an Italian name? ›

The name Florida is primarily a female name of Spanish origin that means Feast Of Flowers.

What does Ronald mean? ›

noun. a male given name: from Scandinavian words meaning “counsel” and “rule.”

What does Desantis mean in Spanish? ›

The surname Desantis is patronymic in origin, meaning it was based on the first name of a forefather. In this case, Desantis is derived from the Latin word "sanctus," meaning "holy" or "devout," thus the original bearer of the name was known to be a holy and devout person.

How is Desantis an Italian name? ›

Italian: patronymic from the personal name Santo . It is formed with the Latin ablative plural suffix -is imparting the broader sense 'belonging to, of', in this case 'member of the Santi family' (compare Santi 2).

Is Desantis a last name? ›


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